London’s Big Sporty Thing (part 13)

A frog pole vaulting. No golds, no medals, no glory. He just likes it.

North Korea finally gets the news that they’re naughty, a German swimmer calls for a dictator, pillar box graffiti is on the rise and there are unwanted condoms in the Big Sporty Village. There was also some sport on Wednesday.

Unofficial condoms hit the Olympic Village

The Durex company is in a huff, following the discovery of rival condoms in the Olympic Village. Australian BMX rider Caroline Buchanan caused consternation at Durex headquarters by tweeting a picture of a bucket containing condoms from competing manufacturers Ansell and Pasante. London Olympics organisers have asked athletes not to distribute the non-Durex condoms as Durex is the official supplier of condoms to the Olympic Village. Durex supplied 150,000 condoms for the use of the 10,800 athletes at the Games. So far the supply has been sufficient, though there are four nights remaining in the Olympic Village.

Arrested cycling fan wants “exoneration”

A Parkinson’s sufferer arrested by Surrey Police during the men’s cycling road race is seeking a “letter of exoneration” from the police force. Mark Worsfold claims that police at the race questioned him about his demeanour, focusing on why he appeared not to be enjoying the event. He was handcuffed and taken to Reigate police station. “The man was positioned close to a small group of protesters and based on his manner, his state of dress and his proximity to the course, officers made an arrest to prevent a possible breach of the peace,” said a statement from the Surrey Police.

Worsfold was discovered by police officers to have a number of knives in his possession. After long examination by forensic authorities, these were discovered to be made from rubber. He was released after two hours.

Graffiti and those shiny gold post boxes

Putting graffiti on post boxes repainted gold to celebrate Olympic victory is a growing pastime in the inner cities, with two defaced in the past two days. British rower Kat Copeland’s commemorative post box was defaced yesterday, with nicknames scratched into the surface. A post box in Sheffield, painted gold to commemorate the gold medal by Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon, required some rework when the decoration was embellished with a “Go Jess” message. UK post boxes were first painted red in 1874 to make them more obvious, as people kept walking into them when they were painted a dull shade of bronze green.

Kat Copeland and Sophie Hoskin following their rowing victory. Gold pillar boxes were not on their minds.

Naughty Korea: not angry, just disappointed

The Korean Central News Agency has issued a blunt statement, attacking Brisbane newspaper the mX for referring to North Korea as “Naughty Korea” in a medals table printed in the newspaper last week. According to the agency statement: “The paper behaved so foolish [sic] as to use the London Olympics, that has caught the world interest, for degrading itself … Editors were so incompetent as to tarnish the reputation of the paper.”. It is unclear whether North Korea will unleash its rumoured nuclear arsenal on the Australian daily newspaper.

Continuing its irreverent humour, the mX has also printed a medals table where silver is more important than gold, “for reasons of national [Australian] pride”. Naughty Korea failed to make the top five.

The mX medals table. Probably the greatest free daily newspaper in the world.

Germany needs a dictator

Roland Matthes, a four-time Olympic gold medallist for East Germany, waded into some trouble in the past few days when he claimed that German swimming “needs a dictator(here‘s the original story in German) as a solution to his country’s lack of success in the swimming pool. For the first time in 80 years, Germany has failed to secure a single Olympic medal for swimming.  Matthes is the second German athlete to make public reference to the far-right as desirable in the past fortnight. Nadja Drygalla, a German rower, was sent home due to her connections with far-right organisations in her home town. German news outlets have been highly critical of the country’s performance at the London Games. Die Zelt has highlighted the higher payments by other countries to winning athletes as a problem. German gold medallists gain a €15,000 cash bonus from their national Olympic council. Gold medallists from the United States are given €25,000, while a Malaysian gold medallist would secure €500,000. British athletes are given a thank-you and a commemorative pillar box.

Vangelis: ching ching

Greek composer Vangelis has revealed that every time his theme for ‘Chariots Of Fire’ is played at the London Olympics, he gets a penny. The theme has been played at every medal ceremony since the beginning of the Games, as well as hundreds of times in the staff canteen. While organisation heads are concerned about all staff now working in slow motion, Admiral Lord Sebastian Baron Coe insists that the theme be played over breakfast. Since mid-July, the composer has earned six million pounds in royalties. Boris Johnson has offered him all of Tower Hamlets in lieu of a cash payment. The composer has yet to reply to the offer.

In other news…

David Cameron made sure to be seen at Nicola Adams’ semi-final win in boxing yesterday. He waved at crowds during the fight in the hope that someone would take his picture… 2400 drivers have been issued with fines for driving in Olympic Family-only lanes… Hurdler Dai Greene is in a spot of bother for calling a tweet from Martyn Rooney the “gayest tweet of the day”… The BBC has come up with an explanation as to why they occasionally forget the names of Olympic competitors at the London Games that are not British. They wrote it down but have unfortunately forgotten it. Update to follow.

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